Current 1st year associate: Anyone regret making the switch?

Currently a 1st year associate at a reputable MM /UMM PE shop. Spent a couple of years at a coverage group at a BB before making the transition a couple of months ago.


Is it just me or are other current 1st year associates missing their IB gig? I largely made the switch to PE for the comp, better hours and interest in investing. 


In terms of comps, I got an early A2A promote at my BB so realized I would be making quite a bit more money if I had stayed (I know long term potential in PE is higher but that's a while away). Also, with respect to the long term potential, my MM only does internal promotes for ~1 associate (if that) out of like 4-5 so am stressed about being kicked out and having to pay for B-school which would not have been the case in IBD. Yeah, my firm generally places into H/S/W but it is a significant investment esp for someone with my background. 


In terms of hours, I have been getting CRUSHED. Worse hours than IB. In IB especially as a well-ranked analyst, I noticed I was able to push back on work and get on the most interesting projects. Here, I am at the bottom again and have no time to breathe. Also my IB was very structured (Staffer to take into account hours etc.) while this is a very unstructured learning environment 


For interest in investing, I have realized the PE job is still very transaction based (lot of data entry, ppt making). Yeah, it is a lot more fun cause I get to read CIMs and evaluate businesses but I largely do very similar tasks as I was in IBD.  Also, this may be a personal preference but I really liked working with larger, international companies and the majority of my time is now focused on smaller, albeit interesting businesses. 


Wanted peoples thoughts on the above- thank you! 

Comments (6)

Sep 30, 2020 - 1:58pm

A lot of people, myself included, did not take into account the team credibility/brand equity you develop as an analyst. That all goes out the door and you have to start from scratch which is why your first year sucks. 2nd year is marginally better and from there on out everything about your work-life balance is banking. Someone once gave me a slingshot analogy, take a step back in order to rocket forward. I think you'll find most people that made the jump have similar stories. 

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 30, 2020 - 2:14pm

As you can see from the recently bumped lateral threads I similarly am frustrated with the switch. Rather than hack it out long term, I would welcome a fresh start knowing what I know now. I also came from a relatively interesting job and so the idea of doing more processing fills me with dread, so think venture is a logical switch (though can't stomach the idea of going to a run-of-the-mill firm that won't be around in a decade).

Sep 30, 2020 - 7:49pm

Your points make a lot of sense, I think what people forget is that moving over to PE as an associate basically means you're a first year analyst in IB. Most of your time will be spent doing grunt work and in excel. Not very intellectually stimulating till you're in the game for at least 7+ years. 

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